As marketing gurus know, direct mail is a time-proven method of building revenue and creating awareness. One very important part of direct mail is branding.
What is Branding?
Branding is a method of aligning your advertising, promotion and publicity in such a way as to create quick and clear recognition of your products and services, as well as building allegiance between the consumer and your company.
Broken down, this means that your font typeface choices, the colors chosen for your direct mail pieces and any appropriate photographs and logos must all coincide in the mailing, not just on your website. If you use strong, vibrant colors in your general marketing efforts, make sure your direct mail pieces reflect the same vibrant colors. You are trying to gain quick recognition when the direct mail piece invades the mailbox, allowing the customer to identify with a television ad, a website or other marketing literature that you have been promoting.
How does branding relate to direct mail?
As branding relates to direct mail, it is absolutely critical that the design of your direct mail material clearly mimic the look, feel and objective of the designs contained in your other marketing literature, your website and other company recognition pieces. Years ago, many people referred to this as piggy-back marketing, which is where one marketing effort builds upon another in order to give greater overall impact to your revenue strategies.
Why is branding so important?
By working on the continuity of your branding with direct mail, you are trying to capture and make the best use of past dollars spent on marketing projects. This means that you are making every effort to remind the people to whom you are marketing, via the use of color, logos and other methods, about your company and its ability to meet their needs. Simply put, if you do not brand your product, company, or service, people will not remember it.
An example of branding used in direct marketing:
One of our customers sells and distributes ornamental steel and aluminum to create intricate gates, staircases and other railings. Iron Age chose to reflect their branding not just with their logo and show room photos, but also with their mail piece – it is structured with what is called a “gate fold”. In this production method, the marketing piece literally folds and opens like a gate would on a driveway, mimicking one of their product lines. The reader would quickly be able to see not just the memorable logo, but also the very product line reflected in the design and actual structure that was mailed out.
Although much has been written about branding, it is surprising how many companies continue to “reinvent the wheel” by being overly creative and forgetting to interject the very cornerstone upon which they have built their advertising and marketing efforts.